Malacañang denies COA report ‘selective’


Malacañang on Thursday said that the opposition should not “politicize” the anomalies involving the use of the pork barrel funds of some lawmakers.

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said that the special report of the Commission on Audit (COA) was not selective because it covered only 2007, 2008 and 2009 when allies of President Benigno Aquino 3rd had severed their ties with former president Gloria Arroyo and did not avail of their pork barrel or were denied their PDAF share.

Abad dismissed claims that the COA special audit was meant to put pressure on lawmakers not allied with the Aquino administration.

“Not true. The opposition is just politicizing the ‘pork’ issue, but it has not succeeded,” he said

“Remember senators Aquino and Roxas were in the opposition and were not getting any pork?” Abad said, referring to President Aquino and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. likewise maintained that the reports are transparent and open for public scrutiny.

“Walang agenda ng paninira ang pamahalan. Isinisiwalat lang ang mga kongkretong datos hinggil sa mga opisyal na transaksyon na sakop ng gobyerno,” he said.

”Sa mga umiiral na proseso ng batas at demokrasya, maaring ituwid o ipaliwanag ng mga tinutukoy na indibidwal o organisayon ang kanilang position hinggil sa mga ulat ng COA at DMB,” Coloma added.

But Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that reports of alleged pork barrel anomalies will remain “pure speculation” until officials complete their investigation.

”The COA report is, in the words of Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan, by no means a judgment on anyone but a collation of observations and recommendations,” she said.

”We will defer comment until such time the DOJ and NBI file charges against individuals and their identities are revealed.

Until such time, this is pure speculation,” Valte added.

Catherine S. Valente


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